It took me a while, but I finally figured out what I’d like to do for my Tuesday’s Technique Tips for October. I’m going to chat about layering. After all, my first and absolutely most favorite part of making cards is figuring how to layer my projects. Of course, some cards end up with not much in the way of layering. When I’m doing some fancy folding, layering is kind of the second thought to the fold. But even then, how and when to layer are ever present questions. So I’ll try to cover most of what I think about in layering over the next four weeks.
The Basic Layered Card
Today’s subject is the basic 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ card with just one or two layers. Here are the four cards I made, each with a different size border around the central printed paper image.
I’ll wager that, if I asked every one of you reading this which is your favorite card, each of these four cards would get quite a few votes. This is one reason why there are so very many different successful styles of card layering. But I’m not going to ask the question. Rather, I plan to show you how each of these cards is constructed so that you can find the best way to layer your own basic layered card.
The Secret Is In The Ruler
This part of my discussion goes around in circles a bit. But the secret for getting the size border that you want around a layer is in the marks on a ruler. As I’m living and writing in the United States, the ruler I’m using is in inches. But the concept is the same for metric measures.
If you want a border (or mat) of a particular width around your picture or layer (I’ll use ‘layer’ exclusively from now on), multiply that width by 2 and add that to the horizontal measurement of your layer as well as to the vertical measurement of your layer. So for a 1/8″ border the width and length of your mat needs to be 2 times 1/8″. Looking at the left end of the ruler picture, 1/8″ is the first short black line in from the left. The second line (the blue line) is another 1/8″ from the first 1/8″. That’s the 1/4″ mark. So, for a layer that’s 4″ x 5-1/4″ you would need a mat that’s 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″. It works in the reverse, too. If you have a card base that’s 4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″ and you want that to form a 1/8″ border around your next layer, SUBTRACT the 1/4″ from the card base measurements.
Some Samples with Measurements
All of the card bases here (shown in Cajun Craze Cardstock) are 4-1/4″ wide by 5-1/2″ high.
- The first card has a layer that’s 1/8″ smaller all the way around. 1/8″ x 2 = 2/8″ or 1/4″. So the printed paper is 4″ x 5-1/4″ (or 1/4″ smaller width and length).
- The second card has a layer that/s 1/4″ smaller around. 1/4″ x 2 = 2/4″ = 1/2″. The printed paper is 3-3/4″ x 5″ (or 1/2″ smaller width and length).
- I got a bit tricky with the third card. The layer on that card is 3/8″ smaller around. 3/8″ x 2 = 6/8″ = 3/4″. The printed paper is 3-1/2″ x 4-3/4″.
- Finally, for a 1/2″ border all the way around, 1/2″ x 2 = 2/2″ = 1″. The printed paper is 3-1/4″ x 4-1/2″.
Finally the Granny Apple Green Layer
While having one layer is just fine, when I’m dealing with colorful printed papers I love to try to pick up more than one color in the design. Cajun Craze isn’t actually a color that’s featured in the Whale of a Time Designer Series Papers. But there’s no rule that says I can’t choose a color that I particularly like to go with a print. So Cajun Craze it was. But when I wanted another layer to go in between the print and the Cajun Craze, I did chose another color that’s in the print – Granny Apple Green. Want the measurements? I’ll bet by now you’ve already got them figured out. Just in case, here they are, for the same pictures in the same order:
- 1/16″ x 2 = 2/16″ = 1/8″ added to the print measurements: 4-1/8″ x 5-3/8″
- 1/8″ x 2 = 2/8″ = 1/4″ added: 4″ x 5-1/4″
- 3/16″ x 2 = 6/16″ = 3/8″ added: 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″
- 1/4″ x 2 = 2/4″ = 1/2″ added: 3-3/4″ x 5″
The Bottom Line
It really does pay to know your ruler, especially if you’re in the United States. Believe me, it’s much easier when you’re dealing with centimeters! For those of us stuck with 1/16″ and 1/8″ and 1/4″ and so forth, there are two grade school math rules that keep me sane when I’m measuring my layers:
- When multiplying a fraction by a whole number (such as 2), multiply the numerator (the number on top at before you get to the / ) by that whole number and keep it as a fraction. So 2 x 3/8″ = 6/8″.
- If you want to count out 6 1/8″ marks on your ruler, that works. But it’s easier if you find that you can divide the top (or before the / ) number by the same value as the bottom (after the / ) number. So, in that 6/8″, both can be divided by 2, and you end up with 3/4″. I can find 3/4″ a heck of a lot quicker than counting out all those 1/8″ marks!
Bet you didn’t know you were using so much arithmetic at your crafting table! I hope you have fun with it. Next week, not so much of it.